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I am quite surprised that this is the first review of this product as it is absolutely fantastic. I bought it for my television set in my bedroom, as I quite like watching films in bed and thought that this mini home cinema system would be perfect for my little soirees in my bedroom! In actual fact, the little thing that is no bigger than a rugby ball is nearly as good as my home cinema system in my front room. It is extremely loud and extremely clear. For an all in one cinema system, this machine is excellent value for money and perfect for those looking for a small, tidy system at a reasonable price.
*Price and availability*
I paid £119 for the Philips CTS4000 from Currys.
The machine looks good quality; it is sturdy and looks very swish. It has a powerful speaker at the front that throws out an awful lot of sound and underneath the machine is a subwoofer.
At the top there are a number of buttons to control the DVD player. There is a hidden port at the top for your iPod or iPhone and at the front is where you can load your DVDs or CDs. At the back are a number of connections:
HDMI output, a composite and 2-channel stereo output. There is also an 3.5 mm MP3 connection so that if you do not have an iPod you can still connect it to the device.
At the side are a USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The remote control is easy to navigate round and the menu is straightforward.
In the box:
The device, 2 AAA batteries, Remote, AC adapter, CVBS video cable, HDMI cable, SCART cable, warranty card, MP3 line-input cable and the instructions. It is great to see a device that not only comes with batteries but also comes with enough cables!
The device is perfectly sized: 27 cm x 17 cm. It sits neatly next to my television in my bedroom and looks stylish and neat. There are no unsightly wires connecting speakers around the room; this little baby does the lot.
The best thing about this little device is the fact that I am able to stick my USB stick in the side and watch movies that I have downloaded. I can also load images from the stick or on a disc and watch them on screen. There are many useful features such as rotate, zoom and slide show.
The device accepts many compressed formats DivX 3.11, DivX 4.x, DivX 5.x, DivX 6.0, DivX Ultra, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4 and WMV and brings them to life. It obviously does not accept blu rays, but for media playback there is a whole range of options: CD-R/RW, DVD + R / + RW, DVD-R/-RW, DVD-Video and Video CD / SVCD.
When using the HDMI cable (at last a product that actually comes with a HDMI cable!) you can upscale DVDs to 1080p. The quality of playback is good and the drive is relatively silent. It takes a fair few minutes or so for a disc to load and it makes a few gurgles but once the disc is loaded it does not make any noise. If you stop the DVD and remove it mid film, it remembers where you are and you can watch it from that point. As a DVD player, it is fantastic and great quality. There is little juddering of images and the colours are bright and vivid. The audio and visuals work in perfect harmony together and this little device makes watching films a treat.
In relation to sound quality, I think this device is fantastic. For the size of this device, it really brings my DVDs to life and makes watching films a real pleasure. The sound carries throughout the room and the subwoofer, although small, has a great impact on the sound quality. At the highest point on the volume scale, the sound quality peters out and becomes a little bit tinny, but on the whole it is clear and powerful. It is not necessary to have it on the highest volume settings anyway as it is loud enough. As I have the device in my bedroom, I was concerned that next door would hear the sounds through the walls on a night. This device has a night time mode which controls the subwoofer making the sound less penetrative.
Although not the cheapest home cinema system on the market, it is nearly the smallest. It offers great value for money in terms of what it can do for its size. Sound quality is excellent and although may get lost in a larger room, in a moderately sized room it performs really well. As a DVD player it is good quality and I am impressed to see every cable I need to be in the box! Overall, I am more than happy with this little device and I would fully recommend it.